Chapter 18: A Clean Sweep

A series of incredible explosions roared one after another. From my hand as the starting point, ten crimson lotuses bloomed chaotically.

As expected, the Flame Princess’s magic, which literally exploded at point-blank range, engulfed my hand as well, but the dense Kei protected my skin from even a single burn.

“Gugii! Hig… Ga! Agi… Hii! Ga, Aa! Aaa! ――! ――――!!”

While being suspended in mid-air with one hand, Ouken faced a torrent of scorching heat that could have boiled his brain. His screams, which echoed every time an explosion roared, disappeared halfway through, leaving him only trembling in fear.

After the ten explosions ended, I looked at Ouken, who was panting like a wheeze from the tip of his beak, and lifted the corners of my lips.

“Don’t die on me just from something like this, duke of Taizan or whatever.”

If you’re going to die, do it after pulling out your trump card. With that thought in mind, I cast my gaze in the direction of the Mitsurugi residence.

From there, an enormous demonic aura that shook the atmosphere could still be felt even at this very moment. The pulsation of power, which was enough to shake the entire island, reminded me of the mythical creature Hydra I had fought earlier in the Titis Forest.

When I had infiltrated the Berch residence to check on Claira’s condition earlier, I had indeed sensed a powerful force. However, the power I feel now is incomparable to that time. Most likely, the Kijin who attacked the Mitsurugi residence has played their trump card.

Is it something like Gozu’s Void Armor, or perhaps a unique Kijin battle tactic? Either way, there is a high probability that Ouken, who calls himself duke of Taizan, has a similar trump card.

A Kijin’s soul with power equal to that of a mythical creature should indeed be equivalent to a mythical creature.

That’s why I considered keeping Ouken alive. I thought that someone who refers to themselves as a beloved child wouldn’t die from a simple magic spell without any special features.

I snorted and let go of Ouken’s face. Just before the Kijin’s body fell to the ground due to gravity, I swung my right leg with all my might.


The tip of my iron boot sank deeply into Ouken’s solar plexus.

Ouken’s body soared through the air, unable to even scream. Like a bouncing ball, Duke of Taizan’s body rebounded off the ground before coming to a stop after violently colliding with the trunk of a massive tree.

A soft, childlike voice whispered in my ears, having witnessed the scene.


The voice belonged to Mitsurugi Ibuki, who had collapsed on the ground.

Freed from Ouken’s restraint, Ibuki looked up at me with large tears welling up in his eyes. He must have realized that the person in front of him was the same one he had practiced with earlier.

However, he didn’t seem to understand exactly what had happened. Fear and apprehension flickered in his round eyes. His voice calling out to me had no relief in it; it was as if he had inadvertently let out a sound.

I could have said something like, “I’ve come to help you, young swordsman” to sound cool. Or maybe I could have said, “I can’t let you die before you fulfill our promise of a rematch.”

However, I didn’t say either of those things. Instead, I firmly grabbed the collar of Ibuki, who had collapsed on the ground. I forcibly made him stand, like lifting a kitten, and gently pushed him in the direction where Lady Emma was.

After taking two or three hesitant steps, Ibuki turned back with a puzzled expression and said in a hoarse voice:

“…My mother… My mother is…”

Ibuki’s mother, Cecil, was still pinned to the ground by the two Kijin. It was clear, even without words, that he wanted me to help her.

Hearing the silent plea of the young child, I turned my gaze once more to the warriors present in this place.

Morgan Skyship, who had once served as a flag general, goes without saying. Sidney and Sai were both renowned as part of the golden generation. Cecil, too, was a skilled warrior who had once belonged to the first banner.

Proud warriors who fight with the law of demon-slaying and god-sealing in their hearts.

Once, I looked up to these warriors, but now, they disgracefully bend their knees. Unbelievably, they do this in the face of the Kijin, their sworn enemies.


I wanted to laugh out loud, holding my stomach, but the action I actually took was to sigh bitterly.

It was too disgraceful to even laugh. The thought that I used to fear such people only increased my discomfort.

I sincerely wished that the warriors wearing the blue haori of the Green Woods Eight Banners would be more unwavering.

To put it another way—don’t let someone other than me defeat you so easily. Though it would make me look like a fool for wanting to get back at them someday.

I felt bad for Ibuki, but I had no intention of helping Cecil and the others.

It was the Sword Saint’s mistake to let the wives and children escape to a place where ambushes were lying in wait. While they were ordered to protect them by the Sword Saint, their disgraceful defeat was the warriors’ own failure.

As a result, even if women and children were killed, the responsibility should be borne by the Sword Saint and the warriors, not me. I have no obligation or duty to help these people.

So, I won’t help them.

“――Soul equipment activation”

So, the reason I’m using soul equipment here is not to help these people.

If you ask me what it is for, it’s to eat mythical creatures. I didn’t think I would use soul equipment on this island, but if mythical creatures appeared, it’s a different story.

To be precise, it’s not “mythical creatures” but “kijin with power equal to mythical creatures”, but well, there’s not much difference.

Anyway, I have to use soul equipment to eat mythical creatures. And if I’m going to use soul equipment, the more souls I can eat, the better.

The souls of the kijin in front of me are not much, but they are not bad as appetizers before eating mythical creatures.

Fortunately, all seven of them are alive. In that sense, I should thank the warriors who didn’t kill a single kijin.

Ironicly thinking such things, I pulled out my soul equipment.

“Devour everything, Soul Eater”

At that moment, the air roared. The earth shook.

It’s been over a month since I defeated the Hydra. The level that was “25” at that time has risen to “26”. Don’t say it’s just one level. The difference between my one level and someone else’s one level is huge, as I have repeatedly stated.

My kei quantity is increased, my kei skills are sharpened, and my kei pressure is honed compared to when I fought Gozu and his men in Titis Forest. Those who take hostages from enemies who are outnumbered are not enemies.

I sweep my eyes over the kijin with killing intent.

Then, as if sensing my murderous aura, one of the kijin who had been suppressed by my kei pressure until now moved. It was the kijin who had tried to jump at me from behind earlier.

The kijin kicked the ground with a cry like a strange bird. Instead of attacking me, he headed for Morgan Skyship, who had fallen to the ground.

The kijin pressed his blade against the old warrior’s neck and barked in a shrill voice.


Perhaps he was trying to say “Don’t move.” After that, he might have wanted to continue with something like, “If you take even a single step, I’ll sever the old man’s head.”

――Now that the person’s own head has been severed, there’s no way to know the correct answer.

The black blade of the Soul Eater absorbs the blood of the Kijin, turning it red. Using Kei, Sora moves at high speed behind the Kijin and cuts off his head as they pass each other.

A voice of agitation arises from the Kijin at the instantaneous feat. To their eyes, it might have looked as if Sora had teleported.

Immediately after, a chain of screams and cries of agony followed.


“Gu―― How dare you, a mere human!”


The voices all came from the Kijin. However, I was not the one who attacked them.

It wasn’t just the Kijin who were spurred into action by my actions. The warriors who had been held down until now were also moving simultaneously.

Sidney’s Murasame severs a Kijin’s neck, while Sai’s Longinus pierces another Kijin’s chest. Cecil, too, is cleaving the face of the Kijin who had been restraining her.

The remaining Kijin all jumped out of the spot at once and tried to head to Ouken, who had fallen on the trunk of a tree. They probably tried to regroup while protecting their lord.

Of course, I didn’t let them go easily. Thanks to the warriors who came out of nowhere, my appetizer was halved. There was not a single reason to give them any more prey.



Ibuki clung to Cecil in tears after the seven Kijin had turned into corpses. Cecil gently embraced her son who ran up to her, and Lady Emma watched over them kindly.

On the other side, Sidney was treating his grandfather Morgan. The other wives and concubines also showed a clear expression of relief, judging that the crisis was over.

I checked their situation and then headed to Ouken, who was still lying down.

Judging from Ouken’s words and actions, he seemed to care a lot about his subordinates. He wouldn’t be silent if he knew that his subordinates had been killed. He would use all the cards he had to retaliate, and if he had no cards, he would run away. Either way, I shouldn’t have taken my eyes off him.

And then, someone spoke to me from behind.

“Wow, wow, you saved me. Thank you, Sora. You’ve become quite strong.”

The speaker was Kumon Sai.

If you only listen to his words, Sai was thanking me and praising me. But his needle-like gaze and sarcastic tone made it clear that they were just superficial.

In fact, when I stopped and turned to face him, Sai continued like this.

“I wish you had come out sooner. Don’t hide and watch the situation. You called that bird guy Duke of Taishan, so you must have been here for a long time – or maybe from the beginning, right?”

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